Garth Gallaway

Chair (Christchurch), is a partner in Chapman Tripp's Christchurch office, specialising in civil litigation, insurance law and health and safety defence work. Garth has been a passionate collector of New Zealand art for many years, with a particular focus on painting and photography; he has been a member of the Council of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and is currently a trustee of the Christchurch Art Gallery Trust, Chairman of the W A Sutton Charitable Trust, Honorary President of New Zealand Football and a former member of the Film and Literature Review Board. Garth is also the wine writer for Avenues magazine and a member of Radio Sport's cricket commentary team.

Peter Biggs

CNZM (Wellington) Peter is Chair of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA). Prior to this he was Chief Executive of advertising agency Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and Wellington. In addition to his involvement in a number of Arts organisations in Australia, Peter is Chair of the New Zealand Book Council, Chair of the Government Reference Group on Private Giving and Partnerships for the Arts (he recently chaired the Government's Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce), a member of the World War 1 Centenary Panel, and is a Board member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (he was Chair of the Panel advising the Government's review of the Symphony Orchestras). He was also Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand from 1999 to 2006. A former Wellingtonian of the Year, Peter was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013. Peter has a first class honours degree in English Literature and Latin from Victoria University of Wellington. He is married to Mary and has four children. Their family home is "Te Puhi", a property just outside Featherston.

Meng Foon

(Gisborne) Meng Liu Foon is the current mayor of Gisborne, New Zealand. He is one of a handful of people of Chinese descent to have become a mayor in New Zealand. He is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Māori. Meng has a passion for the arts as the Chair of the Local Arts in Public Places, where the latest installation is a bronze creation of Wal and Dog from Footrot Flats. Meng has also dabbled in painting. As president of the New Zealand Chinese Association he has strong relationships and is passionate about connecting the Asian creative community and keen Asian philanthropic community to add more value to the diversity of our nations creative minds.

Caroline Hutchison

(Queenstown) graduated with a BA majoring in Art History from Canterbury, before attending Auckland's Theatre Corporate Professional Drama School. She established and ran the Watershed Theatre, Auckland, where she produced over 20 professional theatre productions. She has been a Trustee for Festival of Colour (Southern Lakes Art Festival); Happiness House (supporting Queenstown families in need); the Todd Foundation (principally supporting emerging artists with international study opportunities) and Special Olympics Queenstown Lakes. Caroline lives with her husband, Henry van Asch, and four young children in Queenstown where she continues to produce theatre and film.

Aimee McCammon

(Wellington) is a senior member of Assignment Group, a partnership of creative minds and strategic advisers for many of New Zealand's most successful companies. Prior to this she has had roles as General Manager of Marketing and Demand for Trade Me, and General Manager at Peter Jackson's Park Road Post Production, where she led a team of 70 delivering world-class technical finishing for filmmakers. Her many years in advertising included a stint at DDB, and five years with Saatchi & Saatchi in New Zealand and New York. She has worked with some of New Zealand's most-loved brands, including Toyota, Lotto, Instant Kiwi, Mainland and Wattie's. Aimee has a Bachelor of Commerce from Auckland University, and has completed leadership training at the Omnicom University in Shanghai. She is also a Trustee of Boosted, the Arts Foundation's crowdfunding website.. 

Neil Plimmer

MNZM, (Wellington) has a background in public service and arts administration. After graduating M.A. in history from Victoria University of Wellington he spent 20 years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs serving in Apia, Washington DC, Rome and Canberra. He was then for many years Chief Executive of the New Zealand Tourist Department. In both agencies he engaged with the promotion of New Zealand art and culture overseas, a subject in which he retains an ongoing interest. He is currently Chairman of the Wellington Sculpture Trust, which has installed 18 prominent public sculptures in Wellington during his 12 year term, Chairman of the PATA NZ (tourism) Trust, trustee of the New Zealand Art Show/Affordable Arts Trust, member of the Nelson Sculpture Trust Assessment Panel and other art related organisations. He is a former President of the New Zealand Book Council, Chairman of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute at Rotorua. He was awarded the 1990 Commemorative Medal for services to tourism.

Ainsley Walter

(Auckland) Ainsley has a background in strategic development and a keen interest in philanthropy. She played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Hororata Community Trust in 2010 and continues her support of this community as a Trustee. Ainsley has been involved in a number of fundraising projects and has a keen interest in the arts, particularly sculpture and more recently orchestral performances.  She is a trustee of the NZSO Foundation and sits on the organising committee for Sculpture in the Gardens. Ainsley has a Bachelor of Management Studies (first class) from Waikato University and divides her time between home in Takapuna and farm life in Canterbury. 


Warwick Freeman

Chair (Auckland) has worked as a full time artist since the early 1970s. For 25 years he was a partner in Fingers, the influential Auckland gallery for contemporary jewellery anda prime driver behind the establishment of Objectspace, Auckland's centre for contemporary craft and design of which he is Founding Chair. He was named an Arts Foundation Laureate in 2002 and his international standing was recognized by the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation in Amsterdam who made him a Laureate in the same year. He regularly exhibits in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the USA. His works are held in National and International collections. Recently he was awarded the Barvarian State Prize for his exhibition work in Germany.

The Chair of the Governors is also a Trustee.

Artist profile

Dr Ralph Buck

Dr Ralph Buck is an award winning teacher and academic leader. He has invested much time and energy in building international partnerships in arts education. He has collaborated with UNESCO in raising the profile in Arts Education around the world. He co-initiated, advocated for and planned UNESCO’s International Arts Education Week. He is on the Executive Council of the World Alliance for Arts Education that represents over 3 million arts educators in school and communities. Ralph has provided master classes, and keynote addresses in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Brisbane, Taipei, Beijing, Suva and Auckland. His research and publications focus upon dance teaching and learning, and community dance. 

Jim Geddes

QSO, (Gore) is currently the Head of the Arts and Heritage Department of Gore District Council. He was instrumental in establishing the Eastern Southland Gallery, which in 2003 underwent a major redevelopment with a new wing added to house the John Money Collection and Ralph Hotere Gallery. Other major local developments have included the Hokonui Heritage Centre in Gore, which features the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the establishment of a professional lithographic studio with equipment gifted by Muka Studios of Auckland. An additional artist-in-residence facility has just been completed within an historic Gore church building. Jim received the 2005 Creative New Zealand Outstanding Individual Contribution Award, as well as the 2008 Museums Aotearoa Individual Achievement Award.

Bill Gosden

MNZM, (Wellington) has worked in cinemas since he was 16 and began writing about films in his high school newspaper at the same age. He became the administrator of the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies and the Wellington Film Festival in 1979 and was appointed the Federation's Programme Director in 1980. He was designated director of the Auckland International and Wellington Film Festivals after overseeing their amalgamation in 1984. In subsequent years he has overseen the expansion of the Festival into a national event, The New Zealand International Film Festival. He is the CEO of The New Zealand Film Festival Charitable Trust and currently designated the director of The New Zealand International Film Festival. He has worked as a programme adviser to the International Film Festival Rotterdam and curated programmes of New Zealand film for the Australian Film Institute (Sydney) and Imagem dos Povos (Belo Horizonte).

Elizabeth Kerr

MNZM, (Wellington) has had a long career in music and the arts as teacher, lecturer, arts manager and board member. In 1989, after 13 years teaching at Victoria University in the School of Music, she left her position as Senior Lecturer to become Manager of Music programmes at the QEII Arts Council of NZ. She was Manager of Radio NZ's Concert FM, Chief Executive of Relationship Services and Chief Executive of NZ Historic Places Trust before returning to the Arts Council (Creative New Zealand), as Chief Executive, from 2000 till 2006. She then became Manager of the New Zealand String Quartet from 2006 - 2011 and is currently a free-lance arts commentator and consultant. She has served on the boards of the NZ Symphony Orchestra, the Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ) of which she is current Chair, the NZ String Quartet Trust, the Antarctic Heritage Council, the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), the Wellington Orchestra and the Douglas Lilburn Studio Trust. Elizabeth also works at a critic and commentator in print and broadcast media, including writing for the NZ Listener and presenting reviews and programmes for Radio NZ Concert

Jacob Rajan

MNZM (Wellington) Jacob is an Arts Foundation Laureate and founding partner of Indian Ink. He collaborated to create Krishnan’s DairyThe CandlestickmakerThe Pickle KingThe Dentist’s Chair, The Guru of Chai and Kiss the Fish and has performed them throughout New Zealand and internationally. Jacob won "Best Actor" in the 2010 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for 'The Guru of Chai'. He has also received an accolade for acting excellence and was nominated for the Stage Award for Best Actor at the Edinburgh Fringe. Jacob has featured on New Zealand TV series (Outrageous Fortune  and Shortland Street). In 2013 Jacob was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year's Honours List. Jacob's family originates in Kerala, Southern India. He was born in Malaysia and immigrated to New Zealand at the age of four. Jacob has a degree in microbiology, a teacher’s diploma and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari – The New Zealand Drama School.


Lydia Wevers

ONZM (Wellington) Lydia Wevers was born in the Netherlands and came to New Zealand in 1953. She is a literary critic and historian, as well as an editor and reviewer, who specialises in New Zealand and Australian literature. She has taught in universities in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Europe. Wevers has edited a number of books, including Goodbye to Romance: Stories by Australian and New Zealand Women 1930s –1980s (1989); Happy Endings: Stories by Australian and New Zealand Women, 1850s-1930s(1987); Selected poems/Robin Hyde (1984); Tabasco Sauce and Ice Cream: Stories by New Zealanders(1990) She also wrote 'The Short Story' in the Oxford History of New Zealand in English edited by Terry Sturm (1991, Second Edition 199). Lydia was awarded the Pou Aronui Award by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2014 for her long dedication to promoting the study and enjoyment of New Zealand’s literature, history, arts and culture.
Lydia was the director of the Stout Research Centre's research and teaching programme at Victoria University for 17 years, retiring in July 2017.


Simon Bowden

(Executive Director, The Arts Foundation)  has been leading the Arts Foundation since 2002. Prior to this, he was the Director of the Wellington Jazz Festival. Simon studied at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music in the late 90s and he is still actively involved in music. His band C.L.Bob, won Jazz album of the year in 2002. At the Arts Foundation, Simon has raised over $10 million in donations, non-government grants and sponsorship. He has also negotiated legacy promises of $30 million. The donation based crowdfunding website that he conceived, Boosted, has raised over $4 million for arts projects. Photo Credit: Tatsiana Chypsanava.

Meredith Percival

(Office & Accounts Administrator, The Arts Foundation & Boosted) Meredith comes from a background in the Health + Fitness Industry, where, over a 12 year period in New Zealand and the UK she worked in various roles from exercise prescription to management and is still involved in with the industry presently. After a change in direction in 2011 she made the move to work for a small company in a hands on general day to day operational role and moved to the Arts Foundation in 2015. Mum to two busy, crazy amazing children.